Cat Poop: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know

Written by Taiwo Victor
Updated: July 10, 2022
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Whether you’ve been a cat parent for years or have just adopted your first kitten, you’ll know that behind its disgusting facade, cat poop is a very important part of a cat’s health. Cat poop tells you everything you need to know about your cat’s gut health and overall well-being, so the need to understand cat poop is vital for all cat parents. It may be a tedious and unpleasant job to clean their litter box, but checking out their poop’s appearance, such as color and consistency, is one of the most important things you should do to ensure their health.

Cat stools are a great measure of your cat’s health because most cats poop at least once daily. If they have a blockage, an underlying sickness, or their cat food doesn’t suit them, their poop can let you know. But how do you know if a cat’s poop is normal? This article will explore what normal cat poop should look like and everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cat poop.

What Does Cat Poop Look Like?

The typical color of a cat’s stool is dark brown.

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Normal cat poop should be deep brown, shouldn’t be too soft or mushy but not hard either, and can have a little odor but shouldn’t be too foul. Below, we will explore further everything about cat poop’s color, consistency, and content.

Color

The typical color of a cat’s stool is dark brown. Tan or light brown stools may be a sign of problems with the liver or pancreas. However, diets rich in fiber will also result in lighter-colored stools. Different hues in your cat’s excrement can indicate several different health problems. Here’s what each color means:

Yellow – Yellow stools, while common for some diets, may indicate liver or gallbladder problems.

Black – When blood has been digested, it typically takes on a dark, tarry hue (melena), indicating that it likely originates from the upper gastrointestinal tract, such as a stomach ulcer or a sharp foreign object causing harm.

Red – Red stools typically indicate that the colon or lower gastrointestinal tract is the source of the blood. Red stools are frequently a symptom of inflammatory bowel disease or blood clotting issues. Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you find blood in your pet’s stool because this could indicate a more serious issue and could be a way for bacteria to enter your cat’s circulation.

Consistency

You must first be familiar with the appearance of regular, healthy stools to understand what loose or hard stools look like. The proper stool should be shaped like a log, a nugget, or a mixture of the two, and it should be solid but not unbearably so. Cat poop is often firmer than those of dogs. Dehydration or a lack of fiber in the food is likely to blame for your cat’s tough stool or difficulty passing it. Any poop that lacks rigidity or a clearly defined shape is considered abnormal.

Remember that domestic cats‘ origins were desert-dwelling animals. It is therefore common for their excrement to be hard because their colons are highly good at eliminating moisture from the feces. Any stool with consistency that is not formed or firmly developed is considered diarrhea.  

The consistency of your cat’s feces should be closely monitored, especially given that cats are predisposed to inflammatory bowel disease, a somewhat frequent cause of diarrhea. Cats frequently experience inflammatory bowel illness, which has been connected to an abnormality in their gut flora. An abrupt diet change, hairballs, a bacterial infection, or kidney or liver problems can also cause diarrhea.

Content

While infrequent undigested food may occasionally show up in your cat’s poop, odd patterns can cause concern. The most frequent material found in feces is hair; if it isn’t excessive, this is fine.

Discovering dental floss in your cat’s waste may indicate that you must conceal the bathroom trash can because cats also enjoy playing with string. Occasionally, toys or plastic fragments might be found in their excrement. Many cats like to chew, so if you notice these items in your cat’s feces, you should keep them out of your cat’s reach because they could cause an obstruction.

You might find tapeworms in your cat’s feces as well. About the size of rice, these parasites are white and glossy.

What Does Cat Poop Smell Like?

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Smelly cat poop indicates a problem in the stomach.

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Healthy cat poop should have a faint, scarcely perceptible odor. Usually, smelly poop indicates a problem in the stomach or intestines brought on by a digestive condition, germs, parasites, or an unbalanced diet.

An unpleasant odor by itself is not cause for alarm. The aroma is frequently more prominent and may be a sign of a problem when it coexists with other symptoms, like a change in color or consistency.

Biological diseases brought on by bacteria or parasites might also be to blame for a bad odor from the litter box. You can decide whether to visit the vet for treatment by keeping an eye on your cat to see if it is acting normally or exhibiting any other symptoms, such as vomiting or a lack of appetite.

Is Cat Poop Harmful to Humans?

As it is, cat poop is not entirely dangerous to humans – but there are certain exceptions. The risk of handling cat poop is serious. Because of their connection to the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, cat excrement has developed a negative reputation during the past ten years. The parasite Toxoplasma gondii, one of the most prevalent in the globe, is the cause of the disease toxoplasmosis. Typically, getting sick comes from consuming tainted undercooked meat or coming into contact with infectious cat excrement.

Previous studies have linked this parasite to various psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia. Additionally, pregnant women were frequently advised to avoid litter boxes to avoid infection because the parasite might result in birth problems in unborn children.

Do Cats Get Constipated?

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Constipation is common in cats.

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Believe it or not, cats get constipated, too, like humans. In fact, constipation is common in cats. Typically, it’s moderate, and you may heal your cat using straightforward home remedies. However, constipation in cats can occasionally be a sign of more serious medical problems, and it can also get very bad and bothersome. 

Your cat may pass either longer, thin bits of poop or small, hard, dry chunks of poop, which could be signs of constipation. Constipation can have a variety of causes, such as blockage from diet-related hairballs, dehydration, excessive grooming, or gastrointestinal issues.

To ensure this symptom isn’t misinterpreted for a different problem, it’s crucial to remember that straining to poop might not only indicate constipation. Your cat may appear to be having problems defecating when they are having trouble urinating.

Diarrhea in Cats

The opposite issue of constipation is diarrhea. If cats can get constipation, then diarrhea is no impossible problem for them. Cats frequently experience diarrhea, and there are numerous causes of this condition. Sometimes, it may last a few hours, days, weeks, or even months, or it may recur frequently.

Commonly, 24- to 48-hour bouts of diarrhea will probably not be a problem for cats. However, if it continues for too long, your cat could become dangerously dehydrated.

When cats get diarrhea, their stools are abnormally thin or less firm than they should be. Owners frequently believe that the case isn’t diarrhea until the poop resembles water, although this isn’t always true. Diarrhea would be categorized as having a mousse-like or yogurt-like consistency. In cats, eating something that upsets their stomach is the most frequent cause of abrupt onset diarrhea. 

What Does Blood in Cat Poop Mean?

Food allergies or eating something inappropriate, internal infection, parasites, anal gland problems, a negative reaction to some drugs, inflammation of the large intestine, and other conditions can all result in blood in cat poop. Even mild stress can result in blood in your cat’s poop. While many of these conditions are minor, others can be fatal and necessitate emergency care, so always consult a veterinarian to be cautious.

While blood in your cat’s poop is not usually a sign of a serious condition, it is not normal and should not be disregarded. When it comes to more serious causes, like poisoning, there isn’t any time to waste. 

Healthy Cat Poop vs. Unhealthy Cat Poop

In conclusion, healthy poop has a Tootsie Roll-like form and is pliable. This indicates that your cat is pooping normally. Cat poop should be dark brown but not too dark. Blackish poop can indicate the presence of blood in the stool. As a sign that the bile duct is completely blocked, too-light poop may also point to a more serious problem, such as liver disease.

Tiny, hard balls of feces are seen as unnatural and harmful as they may be signs of constipation, whereas soft, liquid-like, or shapeless stool may signify diarrhea.


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About the Author

For six years, I have worked as a professional writer and editor for books, blogs, and websites, with a particular focus on animals, tech, and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with friends.

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